At its summer board meeting held in Northern Virginia, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a $1.038 billion budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

The increased budget reflects several critical factors, including the creation of several new faculty lines, increases in faculty salaries to bring the university closer to its goal of achieving the 60th percentile for faculty salaries, a growing student enrollment, several new major facilities being brought on line, and significant increases in energy costs.

As part of the overall university budget, the board endorsed the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative, which will reward and assist academically talented, low-income high school students from Virginia who demonstrate persistence and a commitment to academic excellence despite adverse life situations.

In addition, the board approved the creation of the Master of Information Security Assurance program — a multidisciplinary graduate level program that will uniquely address information security assurance engineering, management, and policy issues. The 18-month program will be offered in the National Capital Region for employed professionals.

The board passed a resolution affirming the creation and continued operation of the Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention and Risk Assessment Committee and Threat Assessment Team. Laws were passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by Gov. Timothy Kaine required public universities to establish these; Virginia Tech had both already in place.

The board also approved the appointment of four Class A directors on the board of directors of the Virginia Tech Carilion Medical School: President Charles W. Steger, Provost Mark McNamee, Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine; and James Smith, member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

In conjunction with the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act of 2005, a resolution calling for the creation of a university building code official at Virginia Tech was approved to further promote cost savings in future building construction and renovation.

The board also approved two new capital projects — a visitor’s and undergraduate admissions center and a 1,200-space parking deck to be located in the Perry Street parking lot.

The board also approved a resolution naming the Jacob A. Lutz Greenhouse Teaching Complex in honor a professor of crop, soil, and environmental science, who served the university from 1949 to 1978. Professor Lutz was the father of the current rector of the board, Jake Lutz.

The board approved the designation of endowed professorships to two university professors. College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Professor Fred D’Aguiar will be named the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Africana Studies, and College of Agriculture and Life Science Professor Eric Wong will be appointed the John W. Hancock Professor in Animal Sciences.

In addition, 11 faculty members were honored with emeritus status.

The next regular quarterly meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be held Aug. 24-25.

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